LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock City Council says three convenience stores are not allowed to sell alcohol. Members denied their application to sell near schools Thursday afternoon.
The approved sites surround Texas Tech University. Council says they did not receive any opposition from Tech for any of the locations. They did received opposition from Lubbock Independent School District and Trinity Christian School for three locations that were not granted an exception.
"We're going to be good citizens," Ryan Suttles, Market Manager for Southwest Convenience Stores LLC who operates Lubbock's 7-Eleven Stores said. To help ease concerns, Suttles proposed no alcohol sales during certain school hours at their location near Alderson Middle School. "I think as a whole the public is going to be perfectly okay with that," Suttles said. He also proposed extra staff, and no alcohol displays.
"LISD has made it clear from the policy they oppose the inclusion of convenience stores and package stores within the 300 feet limit," Mayor Tom Martin said. "I appreciate 7-Eleven's offer to try to do some things, but in order to be consistent with what I think is a well written resolution by LISD, I too will be voting in opposition," Councilman Jim Gilbreath said.
Council voted 5-2 against giving the location permission to sell inside the state boundary of 300 feet from schools. Councilman Floyd Price called the decision unfair, since United Supermarkets just across the street from 7-Eleven was granted a variance. "I just don't see giving a variance to one store and then the same vicinity, because it's a convenience store, say no," Price said.
Price voted in favor of all the variances, as did Councilwoman Linda DeLeon. Councilmen John Leonard and Paul Beane voted against all variances. Each request passed or failed with a 5-2 vote.
"We are excited for this," Joe's Mart Owner Priten Patel said. His store is just across 4th Street from Tech, and he was granted an exception by council. Now, Patel's planning changes for more room and new coolers at his store. "It's a golden opportunity to make an enormous amount of money," Patel said.
NewsChannel 11 contacted 7-Eleven, and Stripes, owners of the other two locations denied variances Thursday evening, but did not hear back from them by news time to see if they'll protest council's decision.
©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
The first eight convenience stores seeking an exception to sell packaged alcohol within 300 feet of a school go before city council tomorrow. NewsChannel 11's Ann Wyatt Little sat down with Mayor Tom Martin and has details.